Match Report: Sunderland 1-1 NewcastleBy: Daniel | January 16th, 2011
Two points dropped. 6-2 over the season against Sunderland. Ah well.
Asamoah Gyan’s last gasp equaliser sent Steve Bruce running down the touchline like he’d just won the World Cup. The manager, who stated in previous press conferences that ‘A win is the only option’. Irony.
Newcastle took the lead through an instinctive back heel from Kevin Nolan as he latched onto a Shola Ameobi knock down. United, were better in all departments despite missing key players such as Chiek Tiote and Andrew Carroll.
The game started nervously as Newcastle had a couple of great chances namely a guilt edge chance from Shola Ameobi after 3 minutes followed by Fabricio Coloccini’s shot being cleared off the line by Kieran Richardson.
Sunderland then had a succession of comers and had a bit of pressure. The homes fans believed it was Christmas. It ultimately came to nothing.
The first half ended with Newcastle just shading the half.
The second half started similarly as the first. Newcastle continuing to mixed up there attack with direct balls and short build up play. Sunderland were reliant on the long ball over the top and let Bent and Gyan feed of scraps.
There was finally a breakthrough in the 52nd minute when Kevin Nolan scored with an instinctive back heel and set the away end into madness. A terrific sight.
United continued to go close with chances for Leon Best and Shola Ameobi as Sunderland struggled to pass the ball and once again hurled the ball over the top trying to use Darren Bent’s or Asamoha Gyan’s pace. If this was Sunderland’s main game plan, that Newcastle should have been so worried about then I’m laughing. Laughing a lot.
Newcastle looked to have the game in the page but when the forth official signalled 5 minutes of stoppage time, nerves set in even further. Where or not 5 minutes was required one suspects not.
Then in the 94th minute, a flooky goal, a lucky goal, but a goal for Sunderland as Gyan scores to level the game in the dying seconds. Steve Bruce screams like a baby and thinks the 5-1 drubbing is all forgotten. Shame.
The game ends 1-1-. Defiantly two points dropped. However a good performance by many. Match ratings below:
Harper: 7 – The only thing stopping this being an 8 is the last shot which lead to Sunderland’s goal. Could Harper have held it? Potentially. However he did make some important saves in the game.
Simpson: 7 – Never really troubled much, some good covering for his centre half’s. A solid game. Despite playing everyone onside for Sunderland’s goal. Not that it was his fault.
Williamson: 6 – Can some please let Coloccini show Big Mike how to distribute. His distribution is one of the worst for the centre half I’ve ever saw. He’s a good tackler and plays the scary offside trap well but please learn to pass and not just clear the ball out which gives the opposition throw in’s in dangerous positions.
Coloccini: 8 – Some fantastic tackles in the first half. Little less to do in the second. Unlucky not to score today too. Well played, good game.
Enrique: 7 – Gave the ball away on a couple of occasions, don’t let that dampen a solid performance however. If you don’t know why he’s the bull then just watch his sheppard the ball out. Thanks.
Barton: 8 – How did Barton get given a yellow card? Ridiculous decision for Howard Webb. Played some great passes. Especially in the opening minutes to set Shola clear. Set pieces great all game.
Nolan: 8 – Battled, fought, a good midfield position and stopped by fears of Newcastle getting overran in the centre of the park. Great goal. Maybe he does come alive in the box?
Smith: 6 - Boisterous as expected. Gave the ball away a couple of times but unfairly punished a couple of times. Subbed due to injury.
Jonas: 7 – First 10 minutes he was missing. I was very scared he’d continue to do so for the rest of the game however Jonas proved me wrong with a solid performance. Well done.
Shola: 9 – Deserved a goal for his efforts today. Great hold up play. Great running the channels. Great game. Shola showed why he is so unplayable when he puts his mind to it. Titus Bramble may have nightmares tonight.
Best: 7 – Won a good few flick ons and held the ball up well. Unlucky not to score from his great shot which just went wide into the side netting.
Guthrie: 6 – When he came on for Smith he didn’t really add much or do anything poor. Went missing for a bit but was solid enough. Not too bad.
Lovenkrands: 6 – Not really enough time to do anything. A couple of occasions could have held the ball up better but nothing really to comment on.
Gosling: 6 – Came on, played in an unfamiliar position of left wing. Made a couple of nice runs but nothing really to comment on here either.
Pardew: 8 – Played the right team. Good pick up at half time and was unlucky not to get a win. Seemed like he cared which is more than can be said for managers in the past. Cough JFK cough.
Bruce: 5 – Pre match press conference: A win is the only option. 94th minute equaliser. Wow I’m a great manager. I signed that Gyan kid too. Played his team up, big game plan, big response, seeking revenge. If that was revenge, then talk about a small time attitude.
Howard Webb: 6- Stupid yellow card on Barton. Could have sent Bramble off for raising hands to Smith.Kept his head but not to many weird decisions. Only a few.
That’s the derbies over then for the rest of the season. Now time to push on and look for top eight finish. Enjoy.
Thanks for reading.